You've heard of golf junkets
for politicians and pay-offs for disc jockeys who help get
artists into the Top 40.
But government bureaucrats invited to play Grateful Dead-style music
and rock music covers from the Clash with military contractors looking
for work? Welcome to GitRockin, a fund-raiser to be held in Washington
DC on October 18th.
Ken Sandler of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), a
division of U.S. Central Command, will play the drums with Jim
Ittenbach, a Verizon engineer under contract with DISA. The pair
belong to a band called Troubled Spirit. They play songs like Rolling Stones'
Sympathy For The Devil and REM's End Of The World As We Know
For the October 18th event, Troubled Spirit has renamed itself the
DISA-Peering Act, after the agency that they both work at. Our
question is will they play one of their classic covers: the Rolling
Stones Can't Always Get What You Want or will it be the
Beatles Come Together?
Then there is an all contractor band composed of a vocalist from
Perot Systems and a guitarist from AT&T. Songs on their previous play lists
include The Clash's I Fought the Law and English Beat's Save
it for Later.
CorpWatch asked a former senior government official how ethical this
was. (Sorry, we can't tell you who, but he goes way to the top) His
response: "There is an Office of Government Ethics regulations at 5
CFR 2635 that talks about "impartiality" in performing a
Federal employee's duties, but that was about the closest thing I
could find. I suppose that one could argue that a Federal
employee participating in this sort of thing loses his/her
"impartiality", but that's about it."
The event, which is being held
at the State Theater in Falls Church, Virginia, is a benefit for the
United Service Organizations (USO) that provides charity to the United
States Armed Forces personnel and their families. Iraqis waiting for
handouts may just have to suffer in silence while Tacocat belts out
REM's Fables of the Reconstruction.